Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria, has been without power for a week, and a possible humanitarian disaster looms. So it comes as little surprise that the Juan Manuel Lopez-Jayson Velez boxing card has been canceled.
Lopez (35-5, 32 KOs), a former featherweight and junior featherweight world titleholder, and fellow Puerto Rican Velez (25-4-1, 17 KOs), a former featherweight world title challenger, were due to meet in a 12-round junior lightweight fight on Saturday night at the Rafael G. Amalbert Coliseum in Juncos, Puerto Rico.
However, the storm left the island in shambles, and the card is off. It was due to be televised in the United States via Integrated Sports PPV, but it was notified the card will not go forward.
Also, Gaby Penagaricano, a representative of Black Tiger Promotions, told ESPN that there is no way the card can move ahead with the island facing so many difficulties.
“I have not been able to communicate with the promoter to have an official cancellation announcement. They have not been able to even put a press release out,” Penagaricano told ESPN by email. “However, I am certain the event is not happening. This is a complete disaster over the whole island. No power; very limited water availability; banks closed; limited gasoline supplies; and telecommunications also very limited.”
Lopez, 34, has been trying to resurrect his career after two brutal knockout losses in a row in 2014, followed by a two-year layoff from which he returned for an 11th-round knockout of former junior featherweight titlist Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. in an island grudge match 11 months ago. Velez, 29, has been trying to do the same, having won two fights in a row following four consecutive decision losses.